Review by Gary Cordwell
Release date: 25 March 2016
Ok, let’s cut to the chase. This band is called Deadsmoke. I think we can pretty safely guess what we’re dealing with here. It’s kind of unlikely that this Italian trio are going to be playing AOR or Europop.
‘Branches Of Evil’, the opening track, confirms our suspicions. The brutal guitar chug all but knocks the air from your lungs. It’s downtuned. Seriously downtuned. So downtuned that it sounds as though the guitar strings are dragging across the studio floor. The tone is huge – monolithic, crushing, dizzying. They pound away on a single chord like a sludge Crazy Horse. Ok, so maybe there won’t be a huge amount of melody or structure but who needs that when you have this much monumental heaviness!
And then they manage the nigh impossible feat of making track 2 even heavier! It’s like taking a (very slow) beating – in fact, you’d have time to run away, or even walk away – but you don’t, because this feels too…good (this is getting a bit pervy, I’ll back away from this analogy).
‘Liar Behind Me’ continues with another riff landslide, until it’s chillout time – we drift into a trippy, spacey, Floyd type midsection. From which we are suddenly tipped into fuzz overdrive, barely having enough time to realise that we’ve been cunningly lulled into a false sense of security.
‘Tornado’ has a twangier, moodier intro – imagine a Speghetti Western directed by Rob Zombie. But the sludge storm is never far away – approaching on the horizon like the titular tornado, heading inexorably toward you, levelling anything in its way. It’s elemental, eventually hitting a trance-inducing level of fuzz-zen (TM Midlands Rocks).
‘Night Of The Vipers’ commences with Dub style underwater bass. Amps are switched on. Guitars are plugged in while monks chant mysteriously in the background. Oh yeah, and then there’s a big motherfucking riff. It roars and clangs and bounces your brain against the inside of your skull…and then it gets heavier. There is colossal widescreen, surround-sound rifferama that could loosen masonry if played loudly enough. It finally ends on a spiralling loop of feedback – ideal for pressing the ‘repeat’ button and enjoying it all over again.
Which I suggest you do! The songs melt into each other and demand to be listened to in one stoned sitting. Indeed, songs may be the wrong word – exercises in heaviosityness (struggling here to find a heavy enough word). This is huge. Epic. Enjoy.
8 out of 10
- Branches Of Evil
- Eyes Of The Blind
- Liar Behind Me
- Night Of The Vipers